2013 B.C. election Boundary-Similkameen education questionnaire: BC NDP’s Sam Hancheroff

With the 2013 B.C. election on, SD51, the BDTA and CUPE Local 2098 sent an education questionnaire to Boundary-Similkameen candidates.

General Voting Day is next week (May 14) and School District 51, the Boundary District Teachers’ Association and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2098 sent an education-related questionnaire to Boundary-Similkameen candidates.

Candidates were asked the following questions:

1)How will you/your party/government work to strengthen the co-governance relationship between boards of education and government?

2) Will you/your party/government commit to predictable and stable funding, which includes the annual addition of dollars to address costs for negotiated salary increases, increasing infrastructure expenses and provincial program implementation?

3) What is your position on free collective bargaining for the public education sector?

4) How will your government recognize and support education workers such as education assistants, custodians, bus drivers, maintenance and clerical staff in terms of a) funding whole jobs that support families and communities and b) allow for a high level of collaboration between teachers and classroom support workers?

Here are BC NDP candidate Sam Hancheroff’s responses:

How will you/your party/government work to strengthen the co-governance relationship between boards of education and government?

As a school trustee for three terms, I know how important this relationship is.

The BC NDP would co-manage the education system in B.C., not just in words but in actions. The BC NDP would work with the school trustees on strengthening the co-governance of the education system.

Will you/your party/government commit to predictable and stable funding, which includes the annual addition of dollars to address costs for negotiated salary increases, increasing infrastructure expenses and provincial program implementation?

The BC Liberals changed the funding formula in 2001 and passed Bills 28 and 29, which in 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada deemed to be unconstitutional.  A BC NDP government will direct new resources to classrooms around B.C. to provide students with the support they need, and to hire new teachers, education assistants, librarians and counsellors. The BC NDP has committed to spending over $250 million to hire new teachers, education assistants, librarians and counsellors.

What is your position on free collective bargaining for the public education sector?

The BC NDP supports free and fair collective bargaining rights, including the right to bargain class size and composition. We believe that successful negotiations with teachers occur at the bargaining table, not in the media and will work to restore a relationship with teachers based on respect.

How will your government recognize and support education workers such as education assistants, custodians, bus drivers, maintenance and clerical staff in terms of (a) funding whole jobs that support families and communities and (b) allow for a high level of collaboration between teachers and classroom support workers?

The BC NDP education platform commits to provide students with the classroom support they need. We will hire 1,000 new teachers, teaching assistants, librarians, and counsellors. And we will place additional focus on students with special needs, Aboriginal and English as a Second Language (ESL) students. The BC NDP will invest $75 million in 2013/14, $90 million in 2014/15 and $100 million in 2015/16.